Slow boot after installing EasyBCD


Hi there, first post. I have successfully installed EasyBCD 2.0 BETA and configured a dual boot Vista Ultimate x64 / XP Pro x86 on a C2Duo 3GHz machine. Vista is installed on the first (SATA) hard drive and XP was restored from a partition image via Acronis to the primary partition on a second (SATA) hard drive. Works fine, no functional issues at all booting to either OS.

However, as soon as I installed and configured EasyBCD I noticed that there are two approximately 8 second delays in the boot process...... one just after POST and a second in between what appears to be the Vista boot loader flashing some text on the screen and when the EasyBCD OS selection menu appears. This effectively increases the time required to boot, and these delays did not occur prior to installing EasyBCD. After selecting the desired OS, the boot time from then on seems normal.

As I understand it, the dual boot process with EasyBCD uses the Vista boot loader to call the XP boot loader? I can understand that might take a bit longer, but I don't understand the delay between POST and (I think) the Vista boot loader. That is new.

Hi Paul, welcome to NST.
EasyBCD is just a utility for managing the entries in the Vista BCD. The boot menu is nothing to do with Easy, it belongs to Vista bootmgr.
Once you've started Easy, done the dual-boot setup, and stopped Easy, it's just sitting inactive in your program library. It plays no further part in booting or running the system. You could uninstall it if you wanted and the dual-boot would carry on exactly as you set it. Like carrying a spanner in your car, no effect unless you actually use it.
What are you comparing the boot timings to ?
Straight XP booting through NTLDR ?
Straight Vista booting without a menu displayed ?
This PC or another ?
Hmmmmm.... then I don't get it. Before installing EasyBCD and using it to configure the boot process, I booted straight into Vista (same machine). The process was fairly fast although there WAS a pause between POST and beginning the Vista boot. The pause was not as long as it is now. And after the text portion of the Vista boot process, there was no pause at all that I could detect.... from the brief splash of text, it booted straight into the graphical screen with the "Knight Rider" scanning graphic (dating myself?). I would say it now takes about 15 seconds longer to boot (ignoring any pause at the boot menu) than it took on the same machine immediately preceeding first use of EasyBCD.

Maybe I'm imagining it, but I don't think so.

If I understand you, I can revert back to pre-EasyBCD by removing the XP entry in the boot menu? Does that cause the boot loader to boot straight into Vista without any intervening menus?

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If I understand you, I can revert back to pre-EasyBCD by removing the XP entry in the boot menu? Does that cause the boot loader to boot straight into Vista without any intervening menus?

Hi Paul. Yes, by removing the XP entry in your Vista BCD with EasyBCD, you will lose the dual-boot menu, and your computer will boot straight into Vista. Do you no longer want a dual-boot?

I have no answer to the timing problem, but it seems like to me its a small price to pay to dual-boot Vista and XP together...:wink:

No, I want to continue to dual boot. I was simply wondering if things would revert to a direct boot without intervening menu if I removed the XP entry.

Maybe it is all in my head. I'll have to remove the XP entry and see what happens.

Agreed, it is indeed a small price to pay to be able to dual boot. It's just that it bugs me is all. Vista boots so much faster than XP ever did (on the same machine) that it is noticeable when something slows the process down. As an example, I find that without dual booting, Vista cold boots faster than it used to take to resume XP from hibernation. I still can't believe I am saying it, but I actually like Vista :wink:

Are you talking about the timeout? If you don't do anything when you boot it'll run down the timeout set and than boot the default entry. You need the timeout to allow you to select other entries like XP in the boot menu. You can use EasyBCD to decrease it if you want. For example on my system I've got it at 2 seconds with Vista as the default since I use it most often but its still enough time to arrow down and select XP if thats what I wanted to boot.
Nope. I know what the timeout is. It is still at the default 30 seconds and is NOT the delay I am referring to.

I am talking about a very noticeable pause (with no HD activity) between the end of POST and getting the Vista text screen. This is the text screen that is visible too briefly to actually read it but always seen before Vista enters the graphical boot phase with the scanning bars. Now that dual boot is configured, there is a second similar pause after the text screen and before the boot menu appears. They are both about 8 seconds long and during the pause there is no HD activity.

Are both OSs on the same HDD.
Any chance that you've got the BIOS boot sequence wrong and it's having to switch from the 1st to the second before finding "system" ?
Or have you recently installed extra RAM that's taking longer to check ?
Can't say I noticed any such delays in my quad-boot when Vista was in control.
(I quite like Vista too - so you're going to love W7 (my current 99% main system), which is Vista-lite, faster starting, and much faster shutting down, with all the little annoying Vista features removed)
Yes, the two OSs are on different HDs. Which one is a bit of a mystery. The Vista partition is on an IDE drive which I have set in the BIOS as the first hard drive and the first HD boot device. The XP partition is the primary partition on one of two SATA drives.

I do not know how the BIOS presents the HDs to the two OSs. Ie., I don't know if the BIOS presents the IDE drive or one of the SATA drives as drive 0. Is there a reliable way to tell? Vista and XP both think they are on the C: drive when they are running. If Vista is NOT on what the BIOS calls drive 0, would that introduce a delay? I never thought of it.....

Note that there has always been a pause after POST and before the Vista (text) boot begins. I don't remember it being quite as long as it is now, but I might be mistaken. I suspect the second pause (after the text boot and before the boot menu) is the time it takes to start the boot manager?

Well, it always started bootmgr. You just didn't see any visible evidence as it doesn't bother with a menu when there's only one entry. It certainly doesn't normally take Vista 8 seconds to conjure up the menu.
Take a look in the event log and see if there's an explanation already on record.
Vista always displays IDE as drive 0 (even when it's not 1st in the BIOS) - a Vista DM bug.
They've "fixed" it in W7 by always displaying IDE last !
Is Vista still marked "system" ?
When I installed XP after Vista (same disk), XP mysteriously became "system" (I still don't quite know how) even after I'd repaired the Vista boot.
If you're booting from the Vista IDE, and XP is "system", that would introduce a small delay, but not 8 seconds I'd guess.
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Good idea about the log. I'll have a look...... as soon as I get XP sorted. I am one of many with a broken Windows Update after it tried to update .net 3.5.

I have the same problem. Someone knows why is that, or whats the solution?

After clean install of Windows 7 i installed Kubuntu 10.10, but i installed it's grub bootloader into 'partition', leaving windows loader as it was.
then i used Easy BCD to add Linux to boot manager menu.

After doing so, there's always 5-8 seconds delay befor windows boot manager menu shows up. Just like you described in this topic. It has nothing to do with windows boot manager timeout. It has also nothing to do with BIOS Boot order settings.
i did

first i installed grub in MBR, then i decided to switch back to windows loader

i installed Easy BCD , restored windows loader and added menu entry for Kubuntu

do you think that repeating this process once again could help in any way?

i think i have exactly the same problem as pgoelz had with Vista and XP (no Linux at all)
Win7 & WinXP slow load of bootloader

I same the same issue with Win7 and WinXP.
First I installed Win7, with a fast boot. Then WinXP and EasyBCD.
The boot time of Win7 and WinXP themselves - after chosing them in the bootloader is not affected.

..but the time from POST to I see the Win7 bootloader text screen, now takes 20-25 seconds.

Any ideas?